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RSPB Middleton Lakes

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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 06:19   #1
JHDraytonbassettpits
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RSPB Middleton Lakes

The Reserve is now open with free parking. John Harris
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Old Saturday 14th May 2011, 17:54   #2
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Pleasure to meet you today John..Andy
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Old Sunday 15th May 2011, 17:23   #3
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Had my first visit late yesterday afternoon. Was impressed by the size and range of habitats. Definitely a need for some hides in the wetlands area as there is very little cover for birders, including the approach to the one screen I saw. Didn't stay too long but had some cracking views of a lesser whitethroat beside the wetlands trail near the canal bridge. Definitely warrants a return trip. Be warned - the lagoons are a fair hike form the car park with a further 3k to get round!
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Old Sunday 15th May 2011, 18:40   #4
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Hi Steve, There was a hide going up on the North pit but the RSPB has a had a few grants withdrawn, I was told by people involved with the RSPB. The North pit being the best pit for species variety and attracting wader and duck species resident and migrant which birdwatchers like to see.
Also there is a question of hide vandalism (hides being set alight which has happened at Kingsbury Waterpark and just recently Ladywalk). The proposed bridge to the pools on the East side of the river has not been built yet. These pools attract illegal fishing, some of them locals some nice folk and others who stop all nigt and smash down phragmites to get to the waters edge to fish. Also a group of 20 teenagers who have been seen regulary partriculary in summer Barbequeing and drinking beer, boys and girls swimming naked in the water and spending time on the islands here which has driven off the majority of the nesting Black-headed Gulls . They have been seen there at 2 a.m in the morning by night fishernmen and setting fire to vegtation, all these reports have gone to the RSPB..
Once the proposed bridge is built no doubt they will find there way to the new hide on the North pit and the hide will suffer vandalism and burning in it's life at some point. However the RSPB will put up a hide here and will see what happens, some of these hides may cost 20,000.
In the next few weeks the RSPB plan to build a feeding station close to the carpark, which may give disabled people a little to go at, whilst other plans are underway. I know a few disabled people and all have made angry comments about the distances involved on the reserve especially to the North pit.
For the able bodied you can bird watch and get exercise at the same time, mountain bikers are also using the Reserve,also dog walkers but there are signs up now saying no dogs allowed.
Regards, John
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Old Sunday 15th May 2011, 21:20   #5
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No sign of the Sanderlings today but 2 Blackwits still plus 6 Dunlin and 15 Ringed Plover were on the north pit, a Med Gull, 4 Common Tern and 2 Yellow Wagtail were seen, A Willow Tit was heard calling by Fishers Mill Pool.
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Old Wednesday 18th May 2011, 16:15   #6
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The old conveyer bridge between Fisher's mill and Dosthill lake was removed yesterday by Hanson's contracters at SP20302 98704. So the only way to get to the Dosthill side is by road at the moment.
However Warwickshire County Council have a legal obligation to convey the footpath.

Regards, John
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Old Thursday 19th May 2011, 15:40   #7
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The RSPB are now fund raising for the DBP North hide, toilets and more education facilities near the carpark.

If funds are available the DBP North pit hide would go up in Autumn.

John
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Old Tuesday 24th May 2011, 16:06   #8
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Fairly quiet birdwise, 2 drake Shoveler, 1 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Redshank, 6 Common Tern and a singing Cetti's Warbler.
A lot more birders around now the reserve is open.
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Old Wednesday 25th May 2011, 14:32   #9
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A better variety of waders today with 1 Curlew, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 4 Oystercatcher, 5 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plover, 5 LRP, and 1 Redshank. A Cuckoo was calling and a Yellow Wagtail flew towards Middleton village.

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Old Friday 27th May 2011, 18:46   #10
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Afternoon visit, I finally saw the Shelduck brood of at least 2 on north pit. Waders were a disappointment with just 1 Oystercatcher, 4 LRP, 10 Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin and 4 Redshank.
The work party were busy putting up signs and creating a feeding station by the heronry lookout.
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Old Saturday 28th May 2011, 15:23   #11
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This morning I did the Dosthill part of the reserve for a change, a different habitat (more wooded) not so many waders here but still pleasant.
The only waders were 2 Oystercatcher,there were a few Common Tern and a Cuckoo was calling and Cetti's, Grasshopper, Reed and Sedge Warbler were singing.
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Old Sunday 29th May 2011, 16:33   #12
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An Avocet was nice to see feeding along the shore of the north pit this morning. Two flocks of waders flew through comprising of 20 Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin, 4 Dunlin were on Fishers Mill Pool.
A Barn Owl was reported hunting over the play meadow at 04:30am and a brood of Gadwall were noted by the north pit.
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Old Sunday 29th May 2011, 22:07   #13
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Originally Posted by geoffw1946 View Post
An Avocet was nice to see feeding along the shore of the north pit this morning. Two flocks of waders flew through comprising of 20 Ringed Plover and 4 Dunlin, 4 Dunlin were on Fishers Mill Pool.
A Barn Owl was reported hunting over the play meadow at 04:30am and a brood of Gadwall were noted by the north pit.
could well have been one of our birds Geoff the adult males are now leaving the females to it, now that the chicks have reached a certain size.
John
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Old Saturday 4th June 2011, 07:42   #14
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Interesting note with regard to dogs - i have been visiting these workings for well over 10 years..........with a couple of dogs, always at heel - never a problem - i now only walk along the main drag and do not take the dogs during the breeding season - it is dogs not under control (most birders do not take dogs anyway) and the presence of local yoof that are far more likely to cause disturbance which of course nobody would do anything about. I was stopped by an RSPB employee a year or so ago and the dogs were mentioned, i also pointed out a birder, who had a scope, that persistantly walked down each spit and scrape...........Who is causing the disturbance? Also, try monitering all the people that stroll down at the top end from their narrowboats! BTW if you do not want the long haul walk there is a pull in off of the road on to a track, altho not official, a lot of people do use it and it is well known locally so i am not giving anything away by posting this info.

Look forward to seeing you............Geoff, the next time i am up there!

Laurie -
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Old Tuesday 7th June 2011, 15:02   #15
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Look forward to seeing you............Geoff, the next time i am up there!

Laurie -
Hi Laurie,see you soon.
Morning visit after week away. Sun and showers. Just the resident waders around, LRP, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Redshank.
Cetti's and Garden Warbler singing, Cuckoo calling and 1 Teal and 2 Shoveler noted. The new feeding station by the heronry lookout was well attended by House Sparrow, tits and Gt. Spotted Woodpecker.
116 bird species were seen in May and the year list is up to 145.

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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 16:46   #16
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The only new wader in today was a Dunlin, a Common Gull was seen and a Hobby was reported.
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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 18:32   #17
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Just a small point but it is very confusing having three different Middleton Lake threads, especially as interest in this site will only grow and grow (although I appreciate the complications of the County boundaries).

Would it be possible to merge all posts into one thread and place somewhere appropriate? The mods may permit the amendment of the County title to say "Staffordshire (including Middleton Lakes)" or similar?

Phil
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Old Thursday 9th June 2011, 20:25   #18
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Just a small point but it is very confusing having three different Middleton Lake threads, especially as interest in this site will only grow and grow (although I appreciate the complications of the County boundaries).

Would it be possible to merge all posts into one thread and place somewhere appropriate? The mods may permit the amendment of the County title to say "Staffordshire (including Middleton Lakes)" or similar?

Phil
Hi Phil,
I agree with you in that there should be just one thread on Middleton Lakes (It was on about 6 counties at one time! all started by John Harris but most were deleted by the moderator) The West Midland thread seems to be the one most used and viewed so I continue to use it. It is of course up to others which one they use in the future or perhaps the moderators could amalgamate the three as you say.
Anyway, I hope one will evolve to become as well used as the excellent Upton Warren thread.
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Old Friday 10th June 2011, 07:11   #19
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Hi Phil,
I agree with you in that there should be just one thread on Middleton Lakes (It was on about 6 counties at one time! all started by John Harris but most were deleted by the moderator) The West Midland thread seems to be the one most used and viewed so I continue to use it. It is of course up to others which one they use in the future or perhaps the moderators could amalgamate the three as you say.
Anyway, I hope one will evolve to become as well used as the excellent Upton Warren thread.
Thanks Geoff - you are too kind

Very difficult to know what makes a good thread - in the case of a site specific thread IMO its getting that difficult balance of current sightings, photos, news of future projects / developments, historical information, banter and building an online community (that you then bump into in the field).

Phil
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Old Friday 10th June 2011, 19:02   #20
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Afternoon visit to the Dosthill part of the reserve, 3 Oystercatcher and a Kingfisher were the highlights. Plenty of Reed Warblers but just one Cetti's Warbler singing.
I always expect to see a Night Heron or a Golden Oriole by the river at the north end of the reserve as it reminds me of a typical river in Spain with its small islands and river woodlands, no luck yet however.
Looking across the river to the main part of the reserve there didn't appear to be many birds or birders about.
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Old Tuesday 21st June 2011, 20:03   #21
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First visit for over a week but water levels were fairly high on the north pit and everything is getting overgrown, however there were still a few Redshank, Oystercatcher, LRP and Ringed Plover including a brood of 3 which were only a few days old, one of which nearly drowned when it fell through the blanket weed it was walking on, after a while and with some encouragement from it's parents it managed to get back to the beach.
Other notes of interest were several small frogs on the move from there breeding ponds and a few Ringlet butterflies on the wing.
On the way out I spoke to Alan Dean who said he'd just had a 2nd calendar year Caspian Gull on the new reed bed pool, a photo is on his excellent web site.

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Old Thursday 23rd June 2011, 20:34   #22
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Nothing unusual to report over the last two days but there are plenty of young birds around including 2 broods of Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Dunnock, Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit. A Jay was on the feeders.
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Old Monday 27th June 2011, 15:49   #23
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Today things were picking up after the recent lull. There was a Greenshank on the north pit and 2 Green Sandpipers on hall lake, other waders were 3 Redshank, 2 Oystercatcher and 1 LRP. The pair of Ringed Plover and 3 chicks looked much stronger after 6 days.
A Hobby was hunting dragonflies, there was a pair of Greylag geese with 4 goslings and I saw a Barn Owl at last.
Not much to report from the last few days apart from a juvenile Peregrine and Grasshopper Warbler singing again.
It was sad to hear that one of the old Longhorn cattle had been put down.
Geoff
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Old Tuesday 28th June 2011, 15:40   #24
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The heatwave didn't last long,today was quite cool and had an autumnal feeling to it especially as passage has started.
A brown ruffed Ruff festooned with many colour rings was on the north pit, two Greenshank were now there and a Curlew called but couldn't be located. There were 5 Green Sandpiper on the hall lake as I left.
Good to see that the Redshank had bred OK with two chicks on Fishers Mill Pool.
Three Shoveler flew in and a Yellow Wagtail landed in the adjacent corn field.
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Old Wednesday 29th June 2011, 19:32   #25
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A Wood Sandpiper was new in as was the Ruff, this one had a black ruff and got less rings on it's legs. A Greenshank was still here, there was a total of 5 Green Sandpipers with 4 at Hall Lake and 1 at north pit.
A Hobby checked out the young Swallows by the farm and a Red-legged Partridge was only the second I've seen here in two years.
It was good to see so many juvenile birds,including 4 Kestrels, 2 Barn Owls and a Mediterranean Gull.
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